Running from the Law: July 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Baby Mim - 2 Years

My dear lovely Mim,

Where do I even begin? On Friday you turned two years old. These last two years have been the absolute best of my life and you have been a huge reason for it. Never did I expect to be a girl mom or to love it so much. When I imagined life with kids, I just knew I'd have boys, so you were a total shock in the best possible way. You have brought so much laughter, kindness, joy and warmth into our lives. I am so incredibly blessed to be your mama and I thank my lucky stars everyday that you are mine.
As for personality, we hit the jackpot with you. You are such a little lover with a big heart and a gentle soul. Don't get me wrong, you're rough and tumble and wild as a banshee at times, but you love snuggles while we read and cuddling together under a blanket watching a movie. You love being surrounded (and adored) by your favorite people and anytime more than one of us is in the room, you'll grab my leg and pull me over to your dad or nanny and insist on standing between us and hugging both our legs, which you call "huggins." Seriously, the sweetest thing ever. While you can be shy at first around new people, you warm up quickly and soon turn on the charm with your little cheese-face smile and dimples. You love attention and the quickest way to your heart is to sit down next to you and read you a book. 
You are also starting to become very aware of other people's reactions and emotions. You don't like getting in trouble, which has been happening more and more these days as you parrot everything your big brother does (particularly the bad stuff). When you get scolded your little face gets so serious and you say "sawwe (sorry), mama" with ease and true regret. It's absolutely adorable and pathetic, which makes me smile and as soon as I say it's ok, you turn on the charm and flash that million dollar smile at me. Sometimes it's even accompanied by a "wub you" or "miss you." It's impossible to stay mad at you. You also want everyone around you to be happy and anytime you notice that I'm not smiling or upset about something, you come over to me, get right in my face, smile and say, "HI!" And then you give me a hug and ask "happy?" which warms my heart to the core. How such a tiny person can pick up on subtle emotions of others is beyond me, but you have a knack for it. 
You've always been independent, but the last few months have brought your a newfound sense of self and determination to do everything by yourself. "I DO IT!" is probably the phrase we hear most often these days and I love that you're figuring things out and showing initiative, but I'm also sad that my last baby can put on her shoes and brush her own hair without my help. And while you like to do things on your own, you also get easily frustrated when you can't figure it out and scream in anger, which is hilarious. Lately you've been letting Mac help you with things when you can't figure them out and it's so sweet to watch you guys interact. He loves being a helper and showing you how to do something and look at him with such awe and love. These have been some of my very favorite moments of being a mom.
Physically, you've made great improvements over the last few months with balance and coordination. We have seen fewer and fewer head injuries, forehead bruises and black eyes over the last month. You love to run, although you don't watch where you're going and easily get distracted, which has ended up in some skinned knees and a busted lip here or there. You love jumping on trampolines and can climb ladders to get to slides easily. The higher the slide the better. You now insist on walking up and down the stairs on your own, completely upright, which scares me to death, but you're very good at. You love gymnastics and can flip, twirl, jump and "ta da" with the best of them. But your favorite physical activity is swimming - you are a fish! You refuse to wear your puddle jumpers because you want to be under the water and you could swim back and forth to us for hours. You love jumping in from the side of the pool and recently discovered the diving board, which is your new favorite thing in the world. You're absolutely fearless in the water, which terrifies me and delights your dad (you get this from him). At the rate you're going, you'll be full on swimming before your brother. 
You're still an amazing eater and I'm nervous that's all going to change at any moment. Breakfast is still your favorite and sometimes you'll spend an hour in your high chair eating and eating and eating. Anytime we ask you what you want to eat you excited say, "CHICKEN! SAUSAGE! EGGS!" Other favorites include yogurt, ice cream, steak, mashed potatoes, peaches, Frosted Flakes, graham crackers, blueberries and cake. You insist on dipping everything in ketchup and sometimes you just eat spoonfuls of it at a time. You also recently discovered honey mustard, which you call "dip dip" and could eat it by the bucketload. You're definitely my child. 
Unlike your brother who can't sit still for more than a minute, you are patient and calm and love watching TV! Recently we noticed we have to be careful to monitor how much screen time you get because you have no problem sitting down and watching an entire movie. You have much better taste than Mac does in shows and some of your favorites are Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Wreck It Ralph, Finding Nemo, Daniel Tiger, The Good Dinosaur, Curious George, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Minions and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Your dad also introduced you and Mac both to Star Wars and Superman recently, which are both been big hits. I think you may have fallen madly in love with Christopher Reeves (I can't say I blame you) and the look on your face when he flies around is one of total awe and amazement. Anytime he stops you get very upset and say, "More flying! More flying!" I got you and Mac both capes and you both wear them around the house and fly from room to room all day long to the Superman theme, which we play over the sound system. You're both crazy and adorable.
Your actual birthday was a bit of a bummer this year, as your dad and I got stuck in New Orleans for an extra day due to the Southwest computer meltdown and couldn't get home in time to celebrate with you that day. I was in tears most of the day and it killed me to have to cancel your little pizza party, which I know you would have loved. We made it home late Friday night and I scooped you up and took you to bed with me and sang you happy birthday in your sleep. To make up for it, we had a weekend-long birthday celebration, with no fewer than a dozen gifts, multiple singings and lots and lots of ice cream sundaes and purple kitty cat cake (your request). 
You've been so cute about your birthday and we've been so excited about it. We've been practicing singing "Happy Birthday" and blowing out candles for weeks. Every time we ask you how old you're going to be on your birthday you answer, "CAKE!" which is seriously the best answer ever! I took Mac to Target to pick out some things for him to give you and he did such a great job! He picked out a new Minions movie, an inflatable pool for the backyard, a Star Wars bubble blower, a book about owls, new pink sunglasses, kitty cat shoes and three Superman outfits! They're hideous, but he was so proud of them and you love them fiercely! You were so sweet about letting him help you unwrap your presents and after opening each one you'd say, "Wow! I wub it!" Melt my heart. 
My sweet little Mimmy Swimmy, you are my sunshine. I hope that this year is amazing for you, as I already know it will amazing for me. I love you to Krypton and all the way back to a galaxy far far away. 

Your mama

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

It's finally here...Christmas in July (otherwise known as the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale). I've been saving up my Nordstrom notes for this weekend to get a couple items that have been on my wishlist for a while. This time I'm finally getting a couple things for myself and not just the kids! Splurge! I also thought it might be fun to do some virtual shopping and pick a few of my favorite pieces from the sale to share with you - because you need to be spoiled too! Go on, you deserve it! And if you couldn't tell, I'm a total sucker for a good neutral! Early access is live now, so if you're a Nordstrom cardmember you can shop today! Otherwise, it opens to the public on July 22 (but you can add things to your wishlist/cart now)! Happy shopping!

What's your favorite item?
I bought 3 of these...can you guess which ones?

*Post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Blackberry Picking at Eckert's Farms

Last weekend we packed up the kids, headed across the river and spent the whole day at Eckert's Farms in Belleville. Over the last few years, Eckert's has quickly become one of the kids' favorite places to go, not only because they get to pick their own fruits and veggies (we've done strawberries and strawberries and apples and pumpkins (pre-kids)), but because there so much to do there. Both kids basically know their way around the place by now and as soon as we get out of the car, they head straight through the garden center and greenhouse, out to the tractor. Mac is obsessed with this old green tractor and is convinced that he'll be able to drive it out to the fields if only he can figure out the right combination of levers to pull and pedals to push. I think he'd spend all day just on the tractor if I let him. 
(thank you Katelyn for the photo!!)
Once I drag Mac off the tractor, we grab our picking baskets and get on the trailer (pulled by a tractor) that takes us out to the fields. Right now it's prime blackberry picking season, so that was at the top of our list. Peaches are also just starting and there are tons of veggies and flowers that you can also pick at Eckert's. My kids have a very limited attention span, so we do one crop at a time. Today...BLACKBERRIES!!

This was my first time picking blackberries at Eckert's, although I've been picking wild blackberries for years. My dad's farm is covered with wild blackberries, that are small, tart and covered with thorns. However, at Eckert's the blackberries were bigger and juicier than I've ever seen in my life. They were like picking candy! We spent the first ten minutes eating every single berry we picked and I got a little worried we wouldn't stop eating them long enough to bring any home. But we managed. 

I was really surprised by how easy blackberry picking was compared to the wild blackberry picking I'm used to. The rows of blackberries at Eckert's were wide and the vines grew on trellises that angled in and up, so you could pick at any height level - perfect for tall daddies (that don't want to bend over all day) and tiny littles (that can't reach too high). Plus, the blackberries here don't have thorns! 
Once we picked enough to fill our baskets, it was back on the tractor and time for lunch! Eckert's not only has the fruit picking, but there's also a restaurant, a grocery store/farmer's market, a garden center, greenhouse, frozen custard shop and outdoor kids carnival with games, rides and ponies! Of course the kids wanted to do ALL OF we did. The restaurant serves the most amazing crispy biscuits with homemade apple butter and I've heard the fried chicken is out of this world. 
After lunch we hit the custard stand and the kids both got a mint chocolate chip concrete and I got a s'mores sundae. They ate theirs and mine. Next up was the kids carnival where they both insisted on riding the little train. Mac rang the bell the entire time, while Mim squealed in delight.  
Last stop before heading home was the pony rides. Mac rode a pony once when he was teeny tiny, but this was Mim's first time. They both loved it and were so sweet to their horses. Mimmy kept leaning over trying to give hers a hug and saying "I wuv you, Maggie" and Mac asked a million questions on the way home about his horse Pumpkin and when we were going to get him his own pony. Keep wishing kid. 
It was such a fun day and the kids keep asking when we're going to go back and pick more fruit and visit their ponies. Mim is obsessed with the blackberries and ate her weight in them for the next week, while Mac's really really ready for peaches, which is one of his favorite fruits. I used the blackberries we didn't eat to make homemade blackberry preserves and blackberry mojitos. SO good! I'm definitely going to need more.

Anyone else been blackberry picking?

*I was not compensated in any way for this post. We were given vouchers from Eckert's for some of these experiences in exchange for our honest review and feedback. All love for blackberries, ponies and custard belong to us.